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No matter what, don’t bribe the police in Kenya

Not all experiences with the Kenyan police are bad, but we all know that most of them are.  I’m one of those people whose heart starts to race at every road block, and I avoid eye contact with our boys in blue unless absolutely necessary.

You’d think I’m a mass murder, but the truth is I am not guilty of any crime. I pride myself in never breaking the law, I always carry my license, make sure insurance is up to date, and keep the car in good nick, I don’t go off road, throw litter, or speed… well, that’s on most days anyway.

But then of course the one day that I do press the accelerator a little too hard, I get caught.  It’s sods law and it has happened to all of us, that crushing feeling that you are on the wrong side of the law and you deserve punishment … and you know that the cops are salivating at the opportunity to make a quick buck.

We were driving to Laikipia from Nairobi on the Nakuru Highway and I was at the wheel driving well within the speed limit. We made  made a short stop but I had to catch up with the other car in our convoy –  I know that I was just over the 100kph speed limit. Guilty as charged. Just my luck that the police caught me at that exact moment. I was waved over by a swaggering young police man with a friendly face and big “gotcha” attitude. This was going to be an easy kill for him.

“Madam you were speeding, let me see your license” he says. I turn on my “F*** You attitude” and say “ no I was not speeding sir, I’ve been monitoring the speedometer and I was within 100 kph”

Policeman – “Madam, my friend has captured you on the radar, you were speeding. You were going 107 kpm”.

Damn! I know I was over the limit so it’s not worth pushing this line of argument so I switch to “grovel mode”

“Sir, I’m very sorry, perhaps my eyes strayed momentarily, I will drive more carefully”,

Policeman – “no I have to give you a ticket….” he looks me in the eye knowingly – I play total ignorace.  I know he’s playing with me…

I sigh audibly and hand him my drivers license “I will issue you an instant fine, it is 3000 shillings…” he says in Kiswahili

Peter my melanin deficient fiancé in the passenger seat oblivious of what we are saying

“I don’t have three thousand shillings” I respond in Swahili

The Cop continues “…and you have to go to court on Monday”.

He checks over the car and starts scribbling something in a little blank black exercise book-

I say “you don’t have a receipt book?” and he responds “no but my friend has one,…. I need you to give me 3,000 shillings and can you go to court on Monday ” (I know that its either an instant fine or court but not both – but I’m on the defensive now and making like a drowning duck)

Me-  “please officer, you know I was only just over the speed limit, please forgive me, I don’t have the money and I can’t go to court on Monday”

Him “ok, just give me 3,000 cash and I’ll let you go”

Peter asks “what’s he saying?” and the cop asks angrily “what’s he saying”

Me “he’s asking about the fine, we don’t have the money”

Cop “ok, give me 2,000 cash and you can go”

“I don’t have 2,000″ I wail

“Ok, just give me 1,000 cash and I’ll forgive you” He puts his note book in his pocket

By now I’m pissed off. This is clearly soliciting for a  bribe.

Me “Sir, I have lived all my 42 years in Kenya and I have never given a bribe in Kenya and I’m not giving a bribe today. Please don’t ruin my record for me”

Him “Oh, you are older than me, ok just give me the 1000 shillings for lunch and then you can go”

“No, I’m not responsible for your lunch, …..” then i go out on a limb “you know corruption is what is ruining Kenya”

Peter is fidgeting uneasily at the conversation and rummaging around in his backpack

Cop “You are right, corruption is destroying our country” … he ponders “ok madam, just give me 100 shillings and you can go”.

I’m on the verge of bursting into laughter, I hold it in.

“no” I say and I recline my seat ready for a long stay on the road side.

The cop stares at me in disbelief, then he walks away momentarily his attention diverted by all the other cars that are watching us and passing him by, then he comes back and says

“Madam I am going to forgive you this time, please drive carefully”

I pull out and press the acceleartor carefully watching the cop through my rear view mirror as I tell Peter what transpired.We are both angry yet relieved.

I ask Peter what he was doing “looking for my BBC press badge, if all else fails with Kenyan cops just flash a press card and they step away “.

I realized too late that I didn’t get that damn cops name or badge number, next time I’ll be sure to send it along with a narrative to the Anti corruption officials. Quick calculation – if these cops at Gilgil are getting 1000 from every few cars that they stop they must be earning a good 30,000 each per day just be terrorizing us drivers. I just hope that they don’t sleep at night and all that ill gotten wealth makes them very very sick in mind, heart and body.

In most countries there is a 10% allowance – ie if the speed limit is 100kph you can get away with 110 but with a warning at most.

So here’s your ticket out of coersion into giving a bribe

1. Play ignorant – when they ask for chai or tea tell them you forgot your flask at home. If they say they are thirsty and ask for soda or water just tell them that you passed a kiosk and they can walk down.

2. If they find you guilty of anything just sit tight and ignore all the threats. If they insist on writing a ticket let them do it – its not in their interest to tie up the court with petty issues. I know of a kid who departed with Ksh 30,000 because he was afraid of going to jail for smoking  a cigarette in his car. Don’t assume you have to give a bribe.

3. Study the policemans/womans face, get their name and badge number – when you are in a particularly tight corner pretend you are totally ignorant, new to Kenya, and make a fake call to your lawyer make it obvious that you are writing it all down, and loudly tell the person what is happening – where it is and who the cop is say things like “oh, are you on your way?” Some cops get pissed off by this so play it by ear.

4. If they ask for a ride tell them its’ not your car and the owner is your boss and he/she does not allow it.

5. Tell them you have never given a bribe before. Hide your money and tell them you have none.

6. Don’t break the law, don’t use your phone in the car, overload, speed or drive with no lights at night.

7. Play ignorant, apologise, be friendly, praise them for doing such a good job..

No matter what, never bribe the police in Kenya.

May 6, 2010 Posted by | corruption, police | 8 Comments

Kenya Police Hotlines

These are police posts numbers in Alphabetical Order Nairobi lines are in bold. My source is Kenya police website

If you need to report a crime you might want to read my blog post on navigating the Kenya police procedures here, or if it is not urgent you can also report a crime online  here

Adungosi Police Station 055-22419
Ahero Police Station 057-821008
Amagoro OCPD 055-54409
Arror Police Station 053-22286

Bahati Police Station 051-52299
Bamburi Police Station 041-5485316
Baricho Police Station 060-21732

Baringo OCPD Office 053-22227
Bondo OCPD’s Office 057-52009
Bookers OCPP 056-641020
Bungoma Hotline 055-30555
Bura Police Station 046-62229
Burubru 020-787404
Buruburu 020-787038
Buruburu OCPD  020-783584
Buruburu Police Station 020-786878

Busia Hotline 055-22133
Butere OCPD Office 056-620222
Butere Police Station 056-620004

Capital Hill Post 020-2721692
Central PPO Office 061-2030885
Changamwe Police Station  041-433700
Cherangani Police Station 054-30034

Chesikaki Police Station Chesikaki 25
Chuka Police Station 064-630002

Diani Police Station 040-2229
Eldoret Police Station  053-2032900
Elementaita Police Post 050-2030026
Elwark Police Station 046-4151000
Embakasi OCPD 020-823200
Embu Hotline 068-30100
Funyula Police Station 055-63209

Garbatulla Police Station 064-20682
Garissa Hotline 046-2000
Gatundu Police Station 067-74212
Gilgil Police Station 050-4228
Githumu Police Station 060-44132
Githunguri Police Station 066-65009
Griftu Police Station Griftu 2

Gucha OCPD Office 058-30394

Hardy Police Station 020-891225
Hola Police Station Hola 046-62004
Homa Bay Hotline 059-22444

Homabay OCPD Office 059-22258

Igoji Police Post 064-22432

Ijara OCPD Office 046-62006
Ijara Police 046-62440

Jamhuri Police Post 020-565621
Jogoo Police Station 020-557766

Jogoo Police Station 020-557632/557959
Juja Police Station 067-52176

Kabati Police Station 060-72223
Kabete 020-632222
Kabras Police Station  Malaba 9
Kahawa Sukari 067-812099
Kahuro Police Station 060-41002
Kakamega OCPD Office 056-31486
Kanangop Police Station 065-35015

Kandara Police Station 060-44419
Kangema Police Station  060-322002

Kaptembwa Police Station 051-213228

Kapsokwony Police Station 054-21400
Kapsowar Police Station 053-361507

Kaptagat Police Station 053-2033675
Karatina Police Station 061-72222
Karen Police Station 020-882538

Kariene Police Station 064-51435
Karuri Police Station 066-41222

Kasarani Police Station 020-8563222

Kasarani DCIO 020-8564335
Kasarani OCPD 020-8560756
Kasarani Police Station 020-8564310

Keiyo Hotline 053-42666
Keiyo OCPD Office 053-42088
Kenyatta Police Post 020-2724614
Kericho OCPD Office 052- 30658

Kericho POLICE Station 052- 20222

Keroka Police Station 058-520064
Kiambu Hotline066-22111
Kianyaga Police Station 060-751002
Kibwezi Police Station 044-350002
Kiganjo Police Station 062-86022
Kigumo Police Station 060-44409
Kigumo Police Station Hse 060-44503
Kiirua Police Station 064-41002

Kijabe Police Station 066-64480

Kijipwa Police Station 041-32211

Kikuyu Police Station 066-32022

Kileleshwa 020-560533

Kilgoris 058-5122009

Kilifi OCPD Office 041-522368

Kilimani D/OCPD 020-2728885

Kilimani OCPD 020-2710392

Kilimani Police Station 020-2721683

Kilome Police Station 044-322280

Kilome Police Station 044-322002

Kimende Patrol Base 066-64014

Kimilili Police Station 055-21018

Kiminini Police Station 055-44044

Kinango Police Station Kinango 15

Kipipiri Police Station065-72435

Kipkabus OCPP 053-720464

Kiriani Police Post 060-51096

Kirinyaga OCPD Office 060-21266

Kisumu OCPD’s Office 057-23594

Kitale Hotline 054-30777

Kitui OCPD Office 044-22055

Koru Police Station 057-51478

Kuria OCPD’s 057-52853

Kwale OCPD Office 040-4075

Kwhisero OCPP 056-620227

Kyuso Police Station Kyuso 3

Lamu OCPD Office 042-633120

Lanet Police Station 051-850043

Langata OCPD 020-603694

Lari Police Station 066-74235

Likoni Police Station 041-451222

Lolgorian Police Station 051-23237

Luanda Police Station 054-251087

Lugari OCPD Office 053-53333

Lugari OCPP 053-2031015

Lungalunga Lungalunga 15

Lwala Police Station 057-520485

Madogo Police Station 046-2372

Magumu Police Post 065-32916

Makongeni 020-558277

Makueni Hotline 044-33000

Makupa Police Station  041-491605

Malaba Police Station 055-54038

Malakisi Police Station 055-30507

Malindi Hotline 042-31555

Malindi OCPD Office 042-31348

Malindi Police Station 042-20486

Mandera OCPD Office 046-52003

Maragua Hotline 060-313339

Maragua OCPD Office 060-64026

Maragua Police Station 060-42002

Marakwet Hotline 053-361500

Marakwet OCPD Office 053-5122086

Mariakani Police Station 041-33004

Marigat Police Station 053-51007

Masalani 046-62013

Mathare 020-3764118

Mathare 020-3762698

Matunda Police Station 053-72172

Maua Police Station 064-21022

Mbaraki Depot 041-316168

Mbooni Police Station Mbooni 22

Menengai Police Station 051-343333

Merti Police Station Merti 2

Meru Central Hotline 064-31222

Meru North OCPD Office 064-21127

Meru South OCPD Office 064-630017

Migwani Police Station044-822464

Mikinduri Police Station Mikinduri88

Milangine Police Station Milangine 22

Modogashe Police Station 046-3054

Moi’s Bridge Police Station 054-72006

Molo OCPD Office 051-5122086

Mombasa Central Police Station  041-225501

Mombasa Headquaters 041-222121

Mombasa Urban OCPD Office 041-230706

Moyale Police Station 069-2014

Msambweni Police Station 040-52002

Mt Elgon OCPD Office 054-21843

Mtitu Andei Police Station 044-30507

Mukurwe-Ini Police Station 061-60028

Mumias Police Station 056-641010

Muranga Hotline 060-31188

Muthaiga Police Station 020-3762611

Mweiga Police Station 061-55002

Mwingi OCPD Office044-822196

Mwingi Pabx 044-822032

Mwingi Police Station 044-822146

Nairobi Central OCPD 020-220117

Nairobi Central Police Station 020-225685

Nairobi Industrial Area 020-557284

Naivasha 050-2030025

Naivasha OCPD Office 050-2020288

Nakuru Hotline 051-2217417

Nakuru Hotline051-40000

Nakuru Hotline051-30666

Nakuru Police Station 051-2216597

Narok OCPD Office 050-22127

Narok Police Station 050-22201

Naromoru Police Station061-62003

Nchiru Police Station 064-66409

Ndaragwa Police Station065-32078

Ndaragwa Police Station065-32280

Ngomongo 020-803340

Ngubi Patrol Base066-41582

Njabini Police Station 065-32459

Njoro Police Station 051-61106

Nkubu Police Station064-51002

Ntumu Police Station 064-22063

Nyahururu Police Station 065-22052

Nyahururu Police Station065-22722

Nyali Police Station 041-477555

Nyamira Hotline058-6144488

Nyamira OCPD 058-6144035

Nyamira Police Station 058-6144029

Nyandarua Hotline065-32555

Nyando OCPD 057-821167

Nyeri Hotline 061-2030555

Ol Joro Orok Police Station 065-22919

Ol Kalou Police Station 065-72003

Othaya Police Station 061-52004

Oyugis Police Station 059-31035

Pangani Police Station 020-6760142

Pap Onditi Police Station  Pap Onditi 9

Parklands Police Station 020-3742238

Parklands Police Station 020-3746115

Port Victoria Police 055-63409

Rachuonyo Hotline059-31200

Rachuonyo OCPD’s Office 059-31284

Rhamu Police Station 046-52454

Riruta Pol.Station 020-560921

Ruiru Police Station 067-54260

Runyenjes PoliceStation 068-62002

Rweno Police Post 066-60092

Saba Saba Police Post 060-42463

Sagana Police Station 060-46002

Salama Police Station 044-322469

Serem Police Station 054-41565

Sericho Police Station 064-3502

Shauri Moyo 020-652124

Shauri Moyo 020-652125

Siaya 057-321078

Siaya D/OCPD 057-321080

Siaya Hotline 057-321666

Siaya OCPD’s Office 057-321077

Solai Police Station 051-52492

Sololo Police Station Sololo 2

Spring Valley 020-4181245

Subukia Police Station 051-52024

Sultan Hamud Police Station 044-52001 T

Taita Taveta OCPD Office 043-30303

Taita Taveta Police Station 043-5352224

Tambach Police Station 053-42450

Tana OCPD Office046-62083

Taru 040-2502

Taveta Police Station 043-5352222

Teso Hotline055-54444

Thika Hotline 067-31000

Thika Police Station 067-31652

Thika Police Station 067-21074

Thindigua Patrol Base 066-513366

Tigania Police Station 064-66255

Tigoni Police Station 066-73222

Timau Police Station 064-41002

Tot Police Station 053-21069

Trans-Mara OCPD 053-2345

Turbo Police Station 053-53007

Ukwala Police Station 057-34409

Vihiga OCPD Office 054-51193

Voi Police Station 043-31220

Wajir OCPD Office 046-421505

Wajir Police Station 046-421196

Wanguru PoliceStation 060-48002

Watamu Police Station 042-32286

Webuye Police Station 055-41044

Wundanyi Police Station 043-42002

Yala Police Station 057-335235

November 27, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Injustice, Kenya, police | 4 Comments